Centre draws flak from Parliamentary panel over state of onion silos

The Standing Committee additionally famous that 51,582.74 million tonnes (MT) of onion had been broken resulting from spoilage within the final three years

Photo: Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava / CSE Picture: Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava / CSE

Storage services for onions run by the Centre are poor and wish a right away overhaul, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Meals, Shopper Affairs and Public Distribution has mentioned in a latest report.

The Standing Committee additionally famous that 51,582.74 million tonnes (MT) of onion had been broken resulting from spoilage within the final three years.

“…the Committee are constrained to notice {that a} amount of 51,582.74 MT of onion has broken resulting from spoilage in the course of the years 2019-20 to 2022-21,” the twenty third Report of the Standing Committee, produced earlier than Parliament December 9, 2022, famous.

“They observe that the value of onions mounted to excessive in the course of the latest months and injury of such amount of onion displays poor administration on the a part of the Division (of Shopper Affairs) who has additionally set a goal of procurement of 250,000 MT of onion other than different Important Commodities in ensuing Finances 12 months of 2022-23,” the report added.

Learn Onion crisis: ‘High time Union govt invested in low-cost storage’

The doc urged the Division of Shopper Affairs “to take due care for correct storage of onions in order to chorus value fluctuation as and when observed for facilitating shoppers and to stop black-marketing.”

This was to be performed conserving in view the huge procurement of onion and its value fluctuation.

Damming indictment?

Three years in the past in 2019, India confronted its worst onion value rise since 2010. Costs skyrocketed past 150 per kilogram within the winter of 2019 earlier than stabilising.

The federal government scoured markets in West Asia and Europe for onions. The onions from Egypt, Turkey, the Netherlands and different international locations, nevertheless, reached late due to a number of causes. By the point they arrived, home onions flooded the market. Demand was additionally hit due to variations in style.

In the long run, the imported onions had been left to rot at Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port, one thing which the Standing Committee’s report has now famous.

The Centre, in its defence, mentioned it “accorded utmost significance to discount of storage loss in onion buffer shares”.

It famous that the share of loss on account of extended storage of onion within the buffer in 2021-22, had been diminished to 25.96 per cent from about 28 per cent in 2020-21.

Learn The minuscule system of pricing

Onions had been historically saved in open ventilated chawls and the event of recent scientific know-how was nonetheless within the experimental stage.

“With a purpose to develop applied sciences for major processing, storage and valorisation of onion, the division has initiated a hackathon below the steering of Chief Innovation Officer, Ministry of Training,” the centre’s reply mentioned.

The hackathon would cowl complete answer for the problems in respect of enchancment within the design of Kandha Chawls created by farmers, pre-harvest care, major processing akin to drying, therapy for fungal infestation, storage at acceptable temperature and valorisation.

“Onions from the buffer are being launched in a focused and calibrated method to stabilise costs at native in addition to nationwide degree by monitoring value tendencies in varied centres, States/UTs and on the all-India degree,” the reply added.


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